Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Juan Martin del Potro stuns Rafael Nadal at Shanghai Masters

October 12, 2013 -- Updated 1746 GMT (0146 HKT)
Juan Martin del Potro, left, wasn't broken in a 6-2 6-4 win over Rafael Nadal at the Shanghai Masters.
Juan Martin del Potro, left, wasn't broken in a 6-2 6-4 win over Rafael Nadal at the Shanghai Masters.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Juan Martin del Potro beats new No. 1 Rafael Nadal at the Shanghai Masters
  • With the win, del Potro also earns a spot at the year-end championships in London
  • Del Potro faces Novak Djokovic in the final after the Serb dispatched Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
  • Djokovic boosted his winning streak in China to an impressive 19 matches

(CNN) -- It could be Juan Martin del Potro's week at the Shanghai Masters.

Suffering from a fever in the early rounds, he needed a third-set tiebreak to see off Philipp Kohlschreiber in his opener.

But then the Argentine caught a break, advancing to the quarterfinals when Tommy Haas withdrew with a back injury.

Recovered from his illness, del Potro blasted his way past new world No. 1 Rafael Nadal 6-2 6-4 to reach Sunday's final against Novak Djokovic.

Read: Nadal reclaims No. 1 ranking

It was del Potro's first victory over Nadal since 2009 -- the year the former won his lone major at the U.S. Open -- and booked his spot at next month's year-end championships in London.

"I played so solid all the time, hitting the ball so hard," del Potro was quoted as saying by the ATP's official website. "I saw Rafa playing very far off the baseline, which is good for my game, for my serve, and confidence. That's the way to beat this guy."

Secret to beating tennis' big four
Rafael Nadal: Comeback was difficult
Little girl takes on tennis giants

Del Potro hit five aces, wasn't broken and consistently applied pressure on the Nadal serve, manufacturing 11 break points.

Nadal had no answers.

"He played amazing," Nadal told the website. "I just congratulate him.

"Very few times I play against a player with a level like today. I really go home with the feeling that I didn't play bad. That's the thing. It is fair to say that. I am humble enough to say that I played well and I lost 6-2, 6-4."

Del Potro will likely have to play just as well or better to defeat Djokovic, who boosted his winning streak in China to 19 matches by downing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-2 7-5 earlier Saturday.

Djokovic, now second in the rankings, regained his composure after a controversial line call in the second set.

"I would wish to get even a better performance tomorrow for the most important match this week," Djokovic, who crushed Nadal last week at the China Open, told reporters. "But we'll see."

When Djokovic and del Potro last met, Djokovic prevailed in a near five-hour classic in the Wimbledon semifinals.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
August 21, 2014 -- Updated 1252 GMT (2052 HKT)
As a player he was as fiery as his hair -- and as Novak Djokovic's coach, Boris Becker says he has to battle to keep his emotions in check.
August 20, 2014 -- Updated 1102 GMT (1902 HKT)
Tennis great Boris Becker says he was stunned by the level of criticism he received after being appointed as Novak Djokovic's coach.
July 25, 2014 -- Updated 1101 GMT (1901 HKT)
"I didn't cry once when I practiced in front of the mirror," says Martin Emmrich. But the nerves kicked in when he got down on one knee on court.
June 30, 2014 -- Updated 1135 GMT (1935 HKT)
When Agnieszka Radwanska refused to look her opponent in the eye after losing at Wimbledon, it raised more than eyebrows.
June 23, 2014 -- Updated 0114 GMT (0914 HKT)
It's 10 years since a teenage Maria Sharapova became the darling of Wimbledon's hallowed Center Court, launching herself as a star.
Rafael Nadal is still the "King of Clay" -- but his crown has slipped a bit, says CNN's Will Edmonds.
May 23, 2014 -- Updated 0746 GMT (1546 HKT)
He's regularly voted France's favorite famous person, but many of the nation's youth have "no idea" about his glorious sporting past
May 5, 2014 -- Updated 2359 GMT (0759 HKT)
British tennis player Elena Baltacha won 11 ITF Pro Circuit titles during her 16-year playing career.
The Ukrainian-born, British tennis star loses fight against liver cancer, just a few weeks after revealing that she was battling the disease.
April 29, 2014 -- Updated 1555 GMT (2355 HKT)
Five-time grand slam champion Martina Hingis has followed her mom into a coaching role, setting up a new tennis academy in Barcelona, Spain.
April 16, 2014 -- Updated 1238 GMT (2038 HKT)
Suisse's Belinda Bencic returns the ball to France's Alize Cornet during the second match of the Fed Cup first round tennis tie France vs Switzerland on February 8, 2014 at the Pierre de Coubertin stadium in Paris. AFP PHOTO / KENZO TRIBOUILLARD (Photo credit should read KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/Getty Images)
It's no easy matter becoming a world class tennis player. It's even harder when everyone (really -- everyone) is calling you the "new Martina Hingis."
April 2, 2014 -- Updated 1420 GMT (2220 HKT)
At the 2009 Australian Open, French men's tennis was the talk of the town.
April 15, 2014 -- Updated 1800 GMT (0200 HKT)
MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - APRIL 14: Rafael Nadal of Spain sails a boat during day two of the ATP Monte Carlo Rolex Masters Tennis at Monte-Carlo Sporting Club on April 14, 2014 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Rafael Nadal may be most at home on a clay tennis court, but he has always found comfort on the sea.
ADVERTISEMENT